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Ancaps are a minority here?

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asked Nov 8, 2015 by anonymous
retagged Nov 29, 2015 by dot

"Ancaps" [sic] are a minority everywhere; they are irrelevant due to their incoherence and internally contradictory philosophy -- not to any specific or relative numerical (in)significance.

ancaps are not anarchists, hence on this site they can ask questions and comment but should not attempt to post answers.
a question for lawrence, or anyone else: is saying that 'anarcho-capitalists' are a minority a useful move? it seems weird to me, since part of (my understanding of) anarchist politics is that our being a numerical majority isn't important in the way that one might assume if one is interested in i.e. electoral politics.

my instinct is that being "in the minority" is actually potentially a good thing - in the way that deleuze uses this word in his book on kafka. and that if thinking about anarcho-capitalists is a priority there is likely a better and fuller way of doing it.

asker; you've articulated what was simply a feeling of not-sitting-well when i first read lawrence's comment.

one of the tendencies i noticed in my brief dalliance with 'an-cap-ism' was many of those who profess this do conceive themselves as a minority: an enlightened minority under siege by the forces of stupidity and control...the latter of course contains within it most of the fears and stereotypes of white-supremacy as well as the additional vanity of being the intellectual cream-of-the-fully-westernized-crop.

laozi once said that the sage could know the whole world without going outside of their door. the ancap tends to believe his own self-professed sagehood has been fully realized online from the basement apartment...a far cry from laozi to be sure.

speaking of minorities....despite living in the u.s. as a white male all my life, i've very often felt like a minority for almost as long as i can remember - within my own family, at work, on the internet, within the local public places i wandered, even among my own small group of friends. i hope i don't minimize anyone else's experience by saying that..... but feeling that way sometimes gave me strength and a certain, strange sort of happiness, and other times i felt depressed about it.

somehow, just knowing that a few other people (like i've encountered on this site) out there feel similarly to me about work, the state, and hierarchical control gives me comfort and inspiration. sorry to ramble potentially off-topic, but asker and AF's comments got me thinking....

anyway, seeing myself as a "minority" at times feels liberating and other times isolating...i don't know if that means anything in relation to other people's experiences, or not.

amorfati --- this is an interesting reply because it raises a good objection against my objection. it probably is true that a consciousness of one's 'minority' status could be pathologically self-affirming in that way. while I don't think that was the kind of consciousness that I had in mind, it's an important concern.

asker, it's interesting to me that while you and i (and now ba@?) have played with the notion of 'minority' in divergent ways, lawrence's comment seemingly (perhaps) hit us in a similar fashion. 

right-wingers do tend to see themselves as 'minorities.' coming out of a somewhat sympathetic frame of reference myself over the years, ** it has been my experience that this is a shared trait of the so-called right, from an-caps to the New Right. while i think it has some to do with appropriating the lingo of the left, i tend to see it as something deeper in western thought, and held in common by both wings, going back through to judaism-christianity; love of martyrdom; fanaticism; siege mentality; **edit to add**reification, etc.

there's this sort of schizophrenia: on one hand superiority of culture, biology, politics; on the other fear that it's all being stripped away by inferior cultures, biology, politics. this is indeed a pathological affirmation, one i'd term 'narcissistic' for many reasons...

** given my relatively non-left past, (link to my very first post here) would any of you find value in questions pertaining to why/how (my sense of) anarchy would/could grow out from said former ground? i know most here may be considered 'post-left' anarchists, but what of one who never really came from the left at all? thoughts? feel free to message me personally as well with concerns, ideas, if you have any.

AF, "yes" in answer to your question. i hadn't heard the term "post-left" prior to reading more about anarchy over the past few years.

right-wingers do tend to see themselves as 'minorities.' coming out of a somewhat sympathetic frame of reference myself over the years, ** it has been my experience that this is a shared trait of the so-called right, from an-caps to the New Right. while i think it has some to do with appropriating the lingo of the left, i tend to see it as something deeper in western thought, and held in common by both wings, going back through to judaism-christianity; love of martyrdom; fanaticism; siege mentality 

this. especially the christianity part (lol)... for me the word martyr is very close (although not exactly it somehow). but definitely the idea that the more downtrodden you are the closer to god (or, the more Correct). the embrace of being a victim... very much part of a lot of identity politics, of course. and obviously it's not just right wingers, racists, ancaps, etc. i think this is endemic throughout the u.s. for sure, and perhaps beyond. leftists are at least as prone...

 

ba@, there was some hub-bub over at @news a while back in regard to some comments made on free radical radio about the possibility of a 'post-right anarchism.' i understand more, now, why such isn't a possibility given the historical trajectory of anarchism(s). prior to that being explained and turning it over myself, i'd simply took 'post-'  to mean 'after' as it pertained to my own life, as in 'after-the-right.'

however, for those of us (even if 'we' are very, very few) who desire to live increasingly anarchically have not come from the left, i think it may be worthwhile to pursue lines of thought and share experiences as to why 'we've' come to where 'we' are presently. after all, i came to some very similar critiques of leftism early on, albeit through other means, which 'post-left @'s' later came to through the left. i think this really needs to be discussed as honestly as possible.
i agree, dot, and with your quote by AF....i've experienced that type of mentality with many people i know...

but i also have felt very alone in my desire for anarchy....not so much as a martyr or a victim or downtrodden (at some particular times yes, but mostly not), and certainly not closer to god or even more correct (although i can tend toward that at times)....but more as a surreal experience....while most people try to convince me of hierarchy, laws, conformity, economics, and so on, i move through life with a strange, almost alien viewpoint that places me outside the overwhelming majority of people i know. and perhaps using words like "minority" and "majority" don't really describe it very well.

' i move through life with a strange, almost alien viewpoint that places me outside the overwhelming majority of people i know. and perhaps using words like "minority" and "majority" don't really describe it very well.'

^^^ i can relate to this in a deep way. for one, even when i went increasingly rightward i found that many of those holding conservative/'reactionary' views didn't always like the views of others labeling themselves in like manner.

AF, i agree...and would like to have that discussion too.

as i may have mentioned other times on this site, i actually had a few people refer to me as "anarchist" before i'd ever identified with the term. most of my life, i haven't given much thought to politics aside from my hatred of it. my anarchic desires seem to come from a place that i can't even describe very well, other than through stories and feelings i've experienced.
dot and amorfati -- I think what you two are talking about is a lot like Nietzsche's critique of slave morality, yeah? the attitude that your oppression proves your virtue. this is a very christian way of thinking (also a characteristically leftist way of thinking)

I am thinking about how there is an even more twisted version of this attitude, where one considers oneself actually to be better, stronger, more intelligent, but subject to blockages caused, paradoxically,  by everyone else's stupidity, vulgarity, and failure to understand. "I am stronger than you are, so stop oppressing me!" would be the motto. I've actually met someone who thought of herself as a rightwing Nietzschean, who thought this way...

also, amorfati, I would definitely be interested in the question you're raising about post-left anarchy, in that I've often been confused by what the "post" is supposed to mean. is it the same post as in "post-structuralism" or as in "post-colonial" or is it simply chronological (but whose chronology)??. that discussion probably deserves its own thread.

AF: for one, even when i went increasingly rightward i found that many of those holding conservative/'reactionary' views didn't always like the views of others labeling themselves in like manner.

which makes me think about my inclination to relate to others who desire anarchy. i want to relate to the experience of other people feeling strange about holding a unique (their own) perspective....rather than wanting other people to hold the same view as me. so that in our own,  particular viewpoints, we find a connection - not because we agree on everything, but because we know what it feels like to view things through our own lens as opposed to a pre-configured one, or through a checklist of what makes a political (or other) identity.

 

'that discussion probably deserves its own thread.'

i'm working on it. i've actually been thinking about this arena of thought for some time, i just didn't have a feel for how it would go over, particularly since my own past experience has little involvement, except perhaps antagonistically, with the left.
asker: interestingly egoists are prone to do that "non-egoist/non-self-directed people are cows, who merely get in my way" line of reasoning also.

in anvil there was a piece about zombies being popular partly because of that same sense of the draining, inexhaustible mob that wants to suck what is good out of you. (of course, there are also people who identify as being part of that horde, which is perhaps even more interesting?)

"they are irrelevant due to their incoherence and internally contradictory philosophy -- not to any specific or relative numerical (in)significance."

Guess you missed that part of the same sentence...

nah, I got that. part of what I was saying was that being 'minoritarian' isn't only a question of numbers.

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